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United States Patent Office.


Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 670, dated April 
2, 1838.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, Godfrey Woone, of London, England, have 
invented an Improved Method of Forming Plates or Cylinders with 
Raised Surfaces for Printing and Stamping Impressions on Paper, 
Silk, Calico, Cotton, and other Fabrics and Substances, of which 
the following is a specification.

My invention consists in improvements in forming molds or 
matrices from which casts are to be taken in metal or other 
substances capable of receiving a sharp impression, having on 
their surface the relief of the pattern, engraving, writing, or 
design intended to be printed or impressed on calico, silk, 
paper, leather, or other fabrics or substances on which 
impressions are now commonly taken from plates, blocks, or 
cylinders with raised figures, engravings, or designs produced 
thereon by cutting, engraving, stamping, etching, or otherwise 
lowering the parts or interstices between the work intended to be 
left in relief or from stereotype-casts obtained from such 
original plates or blocks.

I obtain my molds by the following methods, according to the 
nature of the pattern, engraving, or design I am desirous of 
obtaining in relief:

For the finer patterns used in calico or other printing or 
paper-staining, or for engravings, such as are usually cut on 
box-wood and printed at a type-press, I make use of the following 
method: I take white lead and plaster-of-paris in different 
proportions, about two parts of white lead and one of 
plaster-of-paris, mixed with water to the consistence of cream. I 
then pour this mixture or composition on a well-polished and 
perfectly-even plate or block of metal or other hard substance of 
the required size, varying the depth of the composition to the 
height of the required relief.

For work to be printed at the type-press in the manner of 
wood-engravings, the thickness of the layer or composition need 
not exceed the twenty-fourth part of an inch, but for coarser 
patterns or designs as for calico-printing the thickness of the 
composition must be increased to about the eighth part of an 

The plate or block covered with the above composition must be 
left to dry gradually, or baked until it is entirely dry; or, in 
order to give this coating a more even and perfect surface and 
obtain with greater exactness the required thickness or height, I 
lay the composition or coating on the plate or block thicker than 
I intend to work upon. After the coating has been well dried I 
scrape or smooth the surface down to the required thickness with 
a piece of metal having a perfectly true and even edge or 
surface. I first trace on this composition or coating the design 
or pattern in the usual manner now employed by engravers or 
artists. I then proceed to engrave, etch, scratch, or draw with a 
steel point or other suitable instrument or machine all the lines 
or parts of the design through the composition or coating down to 
the metal or substance on which the composition or coating is 

I now describe the second manner of forming my molds or matrices, 
which is preferable for the coarser patterns or coloring-blocks 
used in calico or other printing, but may also be applied to 
finer work.

I take a piece of metal, wood, pasteboard, stone, or composition 
of plaster-of-paris, of the height of the intended relief, and I 
glue or otherwise fix the same on a block of wood, metal, or 
other suitable material. I then cut, engrave, or etch with acid 
in the usual manner employed by engravers either the outline or 
the whole of the pattern or design. When the outline only has 
been cut, engraved, or etched, it is necessary that those parts 
that are within the outline of the pattern or design should be 
taken out or removed in order to form a perfect mold or matrix of 
the pattern or design to be obtained in relief. If acid is used 
for obtaining this mold in metal, stone, &c., the plate of metal 
or stone, &c., may be fixed on a block of wood, pasteboard, or 
any other substance that is not liable to be corroded by the acid 
used for biting in the mold of design or pattern.

It is necessary, in order to procure a perfectly clear impression 
from the casts to be obtained from these molds, that some parts 
should be lowered or depressed, in order that those parts may not 
receive the printing ink or matter when applied to the relief, 
and so produce a blurred or imperfect impression on the paper, 
calico, or other substance to be printed on. In order to effect 
this I either take a cast from the mold immediately after it is 
finished by the methods I have before described, and then proceed 
to finish the cast ready for receiving the ink, color, &c., by 
the usual method employed by wood-engravers of cutting, 
engraving, scooping, or lowering those parts of the cast which, 
in consequence of the distance between parts of the design, &c., 
require to be deeper than the rest; or I make use of the 
following method: After the whole of the design, engraving, or 
pattern has been engraved, cut, or etched on the composition of 
white lead and plaster-of-paris, wood, metal, or other substance 
directed to be used for that purpose, I lay or fix on those parts 
of the mold required to be heightened for the purpose of 
obtaining a corresponding depression on the cast or impression to 
be taken from it with any convenient or suitable instrument 
modelers' clay or other fine earth or composition to the height 
required, taking care not to injure or interfere with the design 
or pattern which has been drawn, cut, or executed on the mold or 
composition; or the heightening-matter may be laid on in the 
following manner. Mix chalk, white lead, or any similar substance 
with water as thick as can be conveniently laid on with a brush, 
and apply this composition or mixture to those parts of the mold 
which require to be raised. When this last-mentioned mixture is 
to be applied to the layer or composition of white lead and 
plaster-of-paris the mold or design drawn on the plate and layer 
of composition must be first carefully and slightly oiled.

In order to prepare the molds for the operation of casting, they 
must always be perfectly dried, which may be effected either by 
allowing them to dry gradually or baking them. These molds may be 
cast, stamped, or molded in metal, papier-mache, or other 
substances now in use for obtaining casts of fine work for 
ornamental or other purposes capable of being cast, stamped, or 
molded, and receiving a sharp and clear impression from the mold, 
and at the same time sufficiently hard for the purposes of 

As there is no new feature in the method of obtaining a cast from 
my mold, I do not consider it necessary to describe the process 
of casting, stamping, or molding, as they may be cast by any of 
the usual methods employed for fine casting and known to 
practical men acquainted with the subject; but for casting fine 
work, similar to wood-engravings, I prefer the method made use of 
in the process of stereotyping or casting from molds taken in 
plaster-of-paris from original wood-engravings. Likewise make use 
of the same metal or composition used for that purpose. Casts may 
also be formed by placing the mold in any convenient box or form 
and pouring suitable metal into the mold or design.

The back of the plate is to be turned even in a lathe and mounted 
on wood in the manner of stereotype-casts from wood-engravings or 
letter-press. When the plates or reliefs are to be applied to 
cylinders the metal or substance on which the mold is formed 
should have a circular or curved form corresponding with the 
circumference of the cylinder on which the plate of metal or 
relief is to be fixed; or the plate may be cast level and the 
required circular direction given by pressure.

It may be observed that I do not claim as new or as part of my 
invention the mode of cutting, engraving, scratching, or etching 
with acid for the purpose of forming a sunk design or pattern, as 
they have long been known and practiced for obtaining impressions 
on paper, &c., in the manner of copper-plate engraving; but

I claim as new´┐Ż

The application of these methods in the manner I have described 
for the purpose of forming molds from which casts can be obtained 
in metal or other substances having on their face the relief of 
the design or pattern which has been so cut or etched in 
intaglio, and by which means I effect a great saving of time and 
labor in producing a relief compared with the method or methods 
now in use of first drawing the design or pattern on wood, and 
then cutting, engraving, scooping, or removing all the parts or 
interstices between the lines or tracings of the drawing, which 
is attended with difficulty and inconvenience, and requires 
greater labor, time, and skill than is required to form a relief 
by the methods herein specified.

In witness whereof I, the said Godfrey Woone, have hereunto set 
my hand and seal the 21st day of November, in the year of our 
Lord 1837.


In presence of

Joseph Marqueti, William, Noavlan, Glerlis in the Consulate of 
the Untied States, London.